EPSRC PhD studentship in: Managing strategic infrastructure to ensure safe drinking water via FindAPhD

The University of Sheffield

Sheffield, UK 🇬🇧

About the Project

A partnership between The University of Sheffield and South Staffordshire Water, as part of the Water Infrastructure and Resilience (WIRe) EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training

Closing Date for Applications: Noon, Monday 9 May 2022

Start Date: 26th September 2022 (duration 4 years)

This fully funded project provides an unrivalled opportunity to conduct research into the operation and management of strategic infrastructure to ensure the supply of safe drinking water. The research will be conducted on operational system supplying water to over 1.88M people. It will involve development and implementation of novel monitoring and performance assessment methods, design and application of operational maintenance approaches and evaluation of the impacts of large capital investment through analysis of data collected. Ultimately the research will help to inform the trade-off between ongoing operational activities and large capital intensive investment to best ensure safe clean drinking water.

Drinking water is treated to a high standard at water treatment works and we must ensure its continued high standard as it is transported through distribution networks to consumers. There is an urgent need to understand treatment to tap interactions such that we can best manage drinking water supply. We need to understand and assess the long term performance effects and hence trade-off between interventions at either the water treatment works (improved water treatment, one off capital investment) and the distribution network (such as pipe cleaning, ongoing operational management). This research will provide long term evidence from operational systems providing vital understanding to help ensure resilience to future demands such as population shifts and climate change and continued provision of the highest quality drinking water.

The PhD will benefit from being part of WIRe. You would be part of an active and friendly community, with 10 to 20 students starting each year. Students will benefit from a bespoke training delivered by world leading authorities from academia and industry, access to world leading experimental and computational facilities as well as close and regular contact with industry and end user partners. Resources are available for international collaboration and conference attendance. WIRe is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community, and offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies. For further information on the CDT WIRe scheme visit the web site at: https://cdtwire.com/.


The project will be supervised by Prof Joby Boxall and Dr Stewart Husband at the University of Sheffield in collaboration with South Staffordshire Water. The normal place of work is expected to be at the University of Sheffield, with close regular interaction with South Staffordshire Water and extended periods at study sites, with travel and subsistence costs provided for these periods.

Eligibility Criteria

Home (usually established by residence) and International applicants (which now includes EU) are welcome to apply.

Selection Criteria

Enthusiasm for the topic area is the most essential criteria and we welcome application from a broad range of backgrounds and experience equivalent to a good first degree in engineering, science, physical geography etc.

How to apply

Interested candidates should email a covering letter and their Curriculum Vitae to Miss Lindsay Hopcroft ([email protected]). For data protection purposes, please state in your covering letter that you give permission for your CV to be shared with industrial partners.

For information and informal enquiries please contact: Prof Joby Boxall ([email protected]).

Funding Notes

4-years tax-free stipend of £19,000 per year and all tuition fees paid.
Eligibility Criteria
Home (usually established by residence) and International applicants (which now includes EU) are welcome to apply.